Think your mac can't support D3? Think again.

  • So I was trying out an experiment last night/this morning. I have a 6 year old (well, 6 years in the middle of next month) macbook pro. This is the first generation of macbook pros with the intel chips in them. At the time it was absolute top of the line stuff: 2.16ghz dual core (not core 2 duo), 2gb ram, 100gb 7200rpm hd (there was a small window of about a month when the mbp's first came out where they shipped with the 7200rpm's), Radeon x1600 video card. It's been a beast and lately, quite the work-horse of a computer. I've about maxed it out with what I can do with it and in order to run SC2 now I have to resort to...interesting measures to make it work: get fan control software, set my computer's fans to 4000 rpm's, hard cap the fps in the variables file, and have the resolution set to the lowest settings with the lowest details, as well as have a desktop fan blowing onto the laptop itself. It works, it's not pretty, but it works.

    Anyway, with that bit out of the way, I've been patiently waiting for D3 like the rest of us - I got into the beta early on, been playing a ton of it at work during my lunch breaks (a perk of being in the vg industry), and enjoying it. Well I checked the requirements for D3 and was sad to find that my computer wasn't supported for D3. I've been waiting for the iMac refresh to happen (supposedly in June) and didn't want to buy another computer prior to that, or have to only play while at work. What I noticed was that the requirements were MUCH less strict for windows versions than they are their OSX counterparts:

    Minimum System Requirements
    Windows® XP/Vista/7 (latest service packs) with DX 9.0c
    Intel Pentium® D 2.8 GHz or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 4400+
    NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT or ATI Radeon™ X1950 Pro or better
    1 GB RAM (XP), 1.5 GB (Vista/7)
    DVD-ROM (required for retail disc versions only)
    12 GB available HD space
    Broadband** Internet connection
    1024x768 minimum resolution

    Mac® OS X 10.6.8, 10.7.x or newer
    Intel® Core 2 Duo
    NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT or ATI Radeon™ HD 2600 or better
    2 GB RAM
    12 GB available HD space
    DVD-ROM (required for retail disc versions only)
    Broadband** Internet connection
    1024x768 minimum resolution

    So I figured I'd give it a shot. I loaded into bootcamp on a stripped down version of XP (it's a really tiny install, with just the bare necessities and SP3). I downloaded the beta client, installed, and went to load up the game. I was then met with this error:

    Diablo 3 cannot run because this card is missing required features

    Well turns out this is all because of my Radeon x1600 video card not being supported. Doing some research this morning I found this bit of info:

    Inside folder libraries/documents/diablo III there is a file "D3Prefs"

    - DisableTrilinearFiltering "1" (from 0 to 1)
    - HardwareClass "1" (from 0 to 1 as well)

    Lo and behold, it worked! I got into the login screen, created my character, went to play...and had a hard reset on my machine. After getting back into the game and tweaking some options I went back in again. This time I got a bit farther and crashed again. I remembered when cataclysm came out on wow, they said to run the game in windowed mode in order to see better performance. This time after setting it again I got about 5 minutes of play (longest yet) before another hard reset. Well, I figured that I would do one last thing - go back into OSX and change my fan's settings back up to my SC2 settings - bringing them up to 4000 RPM's. I found that if you set your fan settings in OSX then boot into bootcamp, the settings will stay the same in XP/Vista/7. After this happened, it actually allowed me to play until I decided to quit (about 30 mins later)!

    The in-game settings I ended up with:

    Resolution: 800x600 - non letter boxed
    Textures: Lowest they can be
    Sound channels: Lowest (16)
    In-Game FPS max: 15
    All other settings as low as possible.

    Computer's fan settings: 4000 RPMs via SMC Fan Control in OSX 10.6.8
    Bootcamp via Windows XP
    Laptop cooling pad connected, desktop fan blowing on the laptop itself.

    It's a bit much to do all of this, but, it was worth the effort I'd say - I'm playing D3 on a computer that has absolutely no business running it. My laptop's video card isn't supported, I have the absolute minimum amount of ram, my processor *shouldn't* be supported, being below min-spec, but hey - it works (then again I'm used to all of this hassle from SC2, even though I run that on OSX). So if you have a problem running D3 or think your computer can't handle it - try again, you might be surprised at the results.

    Hope this helps!
  • The X1600 GPU is not supported on D3 Mac client since it does not have vertex shaders 3.0 or greater.